Easy on Sunday mornings


I’ve spent a lot of Sunday mornings at car boot sales and flea markets, picking through piles of tat in search of vintage clothes, old electronics, furniture, and of course records. As kids we’d take bin liners with us to lug home our hoards. A few years later, fleets of us would show up hungover on bikes, competing to get there as early as possible for the good stuff. Occasionally the Turk and I would go straight from DJing, wandering through the aisles at 6 am, not having been to bed, beer cans in hand, slowly realizing that the other people drinking had been to bed and were simply alcoholics on their first of the day.

Rare grooves don’t show up at boot sales that often in the UK but there’s always loads of ‘easy listening’ – dodgy crooners, various men and their orchestras, hammond and moog covers – amid the discarded rock’n’pop dross. Easy listening became a thing in the 90’s with club nights like the Karminsky Experience, the release of compilations such as the Sound Gallery, and the realization that the guy behind The Champ also did the music for the Dave Allen Show and Milk Tray ads. We played the odd easy tune at Back On The Streets, but Bobby Champagne’s Sunday Social was where I played more of these, and Robin usually concluded the evening with John Keating’s crazy easy rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar.

The assortment below are pretty much all car boot finds. The mix starts with a latin Boca Loca favorite, followed by the track BBC radio used to count down the top 20. Next is a Chakachas cover our bootlegger friends put out as A Febre Do Mato (I think mine was the copy used to record the boot). Santana and Freddie Hubbard covers follow, more light vocals, then the moog power of Hugo Montenegro, which apparently inspired the music for the Pearl and Dean cinema ads.

hqdefaultA ton of TV/films themes show up on these records. Here we get a breakbeat Batman, a cover of Lalo Schiffrin’s classic Bullitt score that’s as good as the original (still gets my vote for best movie opening sequence), and an easy version of Quincy Jones’s great Mr Tibbs (the original is here). The NBC News theme is one of only a handful of 3/4 and 6/8 tunes I’ve played out (always fun to watch people try to figure out how to dance to those…). Then there’s some great drumming alongside Harry Stoneman, the music for that Cadbury’s Milk Tray advert and one for those who fancy doing a Torville and Dean in their living room (it wouldn’t be an easy listening mix without James Last).

Johnny Pearson returns for the pick of the bunch: the music used for Superstars in the UK and Monday Night Football here in the US. After a lipsmackinthirstquenching…coolfizzin Pepsi from the Hustlers, the mix segues into the same group’s version of Tequila, a track that features on a ton of easy listening records.

  1. Viva (Viva Tirado) – Johnny Pearson & The London Stereo 70 Orchestra
  2. At The Sign of The Swinging Cymbal – Brian Fahey & His Orchestra
  3. Jungle Fever – Big Jim H & His Men of Rhythm
  4. Evil Ways – Johnny Mathis
  5. First Light – Percy Faith & His Orchestra
  6. All I Can Do – The Carpenters
  7. Macarthur Park – Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Voices
  8. Batman – Geoff Love & His Orchestra
  9. Theme from Bullitt – The Chaquito Big Band
  10. NBC Nightly News Theme – Henry Mancini
  11. Move In – Harry Stoneman
  12. Night Rider – Alan Hawkshaw
  13. Bolero – James Last
  14. Theme from They Call Me Mr Tibbs – The Chaquito Big Band
  15. Heavy Action – Johnny Pearson
  16. Shout About Pepsi – Dennis Wright & The Hustlers
  17. Tequila – Dennis Wright & The Hustlers


~ by ricardosevere on 03/02/2019.

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